A qualitative exploration of the unique challenges facing older men with haemophilia and the implications for social work practice

Sarah Eleanor Elliott, Kelsey L Deane, Barbara Staniforth

Abstract


INTRODUCTION: For the first time, people who have haemophilia are facing the same aging issues as the general population, adding further complexity to their care and treatment. Worldwide, there has been little research on the psychosocial effects of growing older with haemophilia. This study investigated the holistic experiences of older men with haemophilia in Aotearoa New Zealand. Support services, particularly the roles that social workers could play in facilitating wellbeing, have also been explored.

METHODS: A focus group was conducted with a purposive sample of five older men living with haemophilia in Aotearoa New Zealand. Thematic analysis through Braun and Clarke’s six-phased model (2006) was used to provide insight into their experiences.

FINDINGS: Substantial physical and new medical challenges existed for the participants and these had flow-on effects for their psychosocial wellbeing. Existing services were well regarded but the anticipated complexity of multi-specialists and continuing care provoked anxiety. Connection with others with similar challenges was seen as an important social resource.  

CONCLUSIONS: The complexities associated with an aging population of people with haemophilia has generated a need for a wide-range of services and supports. Social workers need to take new and different approaches to fill the roles of advocating for, educating and providing support to, older men with haemophilia.  


Keywords


Keywords: Haemophilia; ageing; social work; wellbeing

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11157/anzswj-vol29iss2id239

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